The Fae in True Blood
by Jodi Lee
I am a huge fan of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. They are light, easy reading fun – and after a day of Belfire editing, errands and writing, I’m ready for Sookie’s humor.
HBO’s True Blood, starring fellow Manitoban Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse, is often a great show, though the last two seasons have been lacking in that something that was in previous seasons. Last year’s season opener was less than stellar, and after a few more had passed, I felt a little (okay, a lot) let down. The only shining point throughout the season was Sookie’s developing relationship with Eric Northman. Not Fae-related, but the Wiccan storyline was also weak, felt a great deal like it had been tossed together at the last minute, and while I loved the actress that played Marnie (also known as Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter movies), she did not shine in this particular role.
Far and above any of this, I felt the way the Fae storyline was handled was deplorable. Claudine, Sookie’s faery godmother and cousin, is meant to be a woman of supermodel beauty and youth, a good Fae who likes a good time and pops in and out of Sookie’s life at random. She wasn’t. Her twin brother Claude is meant to be tall, dark, luscious and gay. He wasn’t.
In fact, Sookie was lured away to the Fae lands, where she finds her ‘grandfather,’ Earl. He thinks only a few moments have passed since he ventured into Fae, but in actuality it’s been over 20 years. Sookie soon discovers a darkness behind these Fae, including Claudine. With help from her grandfather and Claude (whose appearance was brief and to the point), she escapes through the portal which Queen Mab is rapidly closing. At some point, Claudine manages to re-enter the mortal world and is quickly ‘eaten’ by Eric Northman.
And that, seemingly, is that for the Fae storyline on the show.
Nothing about Sookie’s full-blooded fae great-grandfather Niall, nothing about his son Fintan, who seduced Sookie’s beloved grandmother, Adele. In fact, from the way the show’s storyline went, it appeared Earl was the one with Fae blood, passing it to Sookie that way. The books have a much more intricate (but familiar) tale of Fae mischievousness, shape-shifting and romance.
I suppose they could re-introduce the Fae line in future, and bring Niall around then. It would be a wonderful opportunity for the writers to develop something outside the current story branches, something focused more on Sookie than the other, minor characters. Claudine and Claude were such a large part of several of the books, and a vital part – along with Niall, his other son Dermot, and murderously cruel Brendan, Lochlan and Neave. Bringing the Faery War to the little town of Bon Temps would liven the show, even though they would have to find suitable replacements for Claudine and Claude.
Admit it – even if you don’t watch True Blood as a general rule – watching a flock of ethereally beautiful people rip each other to shreds in a supernatural battle royale would get your attention.
Mr. Ball, if by some flight of Fae-fancy you see this, please – PLEASE – give us the Faery War!
Jodi Lee was born and raised on the Canadian Prairies, having ventured only as far as Edmonton to the west, Kenora to the east and Langdon, ND to the south in her entire life. Even so, she feels home is probably somewhere in Galway (Ireland), Ceredigion, Powys (Wales) or Manchester (UK).
Living in Manitoba has given her a vivid imagination, however. Nothing breaks the daily monotony of snow, rain and road construction quite like alien zombies or flesh-devouring mosquitoes. She’d like to blame it on leftovers from the experimentation during her moderately wild youth, but won’t; besides, as a single mom she should at least try and set a good example for her two daughters, at least one of whom is definitely more mature than her mother.
Jodi has been writing and editing professionally for over a decade, dividing her time between her own works and those of her clients via numerous outlets. A detailed bibliography is available onsite.